Poe was handsome. Some of the drawings of him are mockery, exaggerated by rivals. Some of the photographs, from which the drawings are taken, were made near the end of his life when he was ill. Exhibit A right here, Poe the looker.
The Scottish Brownie formed a class of beings distinct in habit and disposition from the freakish and mischievous elves. He was meagre, shaggy, and wild in his appearance.
In the daytime he lurked in remote recesses of the old houses which he delighted to haunt; and in the night sedulously employed himself in discharging any laborious task which he thought might be acceptable to the family to whose service he had devoted himself. But the Brownie does not drudge from the hope of recompense. On the contrary, so delicate is his attachment that the offer of reward, but particularly of food, infallibly occasions his disappearance for ever.
Translation: leave the damn bowl of milk, honey, or porridge for your resident helpful household deity. Thank your brownie. Or…
It is told of a Brownie, who haunted a Border family now extinct, that the lady having fallen unexpectedly in labour, and the servant, who was ordered to ride to Jedburgh for the sage-femme, showing no great alertness in setting out, the familiar spirit slipt on the great-coat of the lingering domestic, rode to the town on the laird’s best horse, and returned with the midwife en croupe. During the short space of his absence, the Tweed, which they must necessarily ford, rose to a dangerous height. Brownie, who transported his charge with all rapidity, was not to be stopped by this obstacle. He plunged in with the terrified old lady, and landed her in safety where her services were wanted. Having put the horse into the stable (where it was afterwards found in a woful plight), he proceeded to the room of the servant whose duty he had discharged, and, finding him just in the act of drawing on his boots, administered to him a most merciless drubbing with his own horsewhip. Such an important service excited the gratitude of the laird, who, understanding that Brownie had been heard to express a wish to have a green coat, ordered a vestment of that colour to be made and left in his haunts. Brownie took away the green coat, but was never seen more. We may suppose that, tired of his domestic drudgery, he went in his new livery to join the fairies. (source)
He will beat your ass and leave, even if you say you’re sorry and make him a wee coat.
A sweeter sort, who won’t drub you with your own whip, look like cupcakes, and have veggie power to boot:
The Houses October Built (2014)—this is a remake of the 2011 original by the same filmmakers, I have not seen the original. This is one of those movies that you will finish watching and swear it was gory. I promise you—no gore. None.
If you would like to purchase it in print, and still support me, you may do so by buying it through Amazon in either Kindle, hardcover, or paperback format, and thank you! I highly recommend it–it is my favorite book on the history of horror, what’s good about it (and what should be avoided)…and it reads like you’re having a beer and conversation with a good friend.
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;–
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
She was a child and I was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wingéd seraphs of Heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud by night
chilling my Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me:—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud, chilling
And killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we—
Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:–
For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea. (original manuscript says “by the side of the sea”)
text of Virginia Clemm Poe’s acrostic Valentine :
Ever with thee I wish to roam–
Dearest my life is thine.
Give me a cottage for my home
And a rich old cypress vine
Removed from the world with its sin and care
And the tattling of many tongues.
Love alone shall guide us when we are there–
Love shall heal my weakened lungs;
And Oh, the tranquil hours we’ll spend,
Never wishing that others may see!
Perfect ease we’ll enjoy without thinking to lend
Ourselves to the world and its glee–
Ever peaceful and blissful we’ll be.
Saturday February 14, 1846.
Harold Schechter: Edgar Allan Poe Mysteries series order
The first (and second) presidents ever to die in office! Imagine awakening to that newspaper. How earthshaking. Whoops, um, President Harrison has died after 30 days in office. Yeah, we don’t know to act, either, beyond inaugurating the vice president. AWKward. Stay tuned.
Harrison was also the last US president to be born a British subject on American soil (Charles City, Virginia); so, when his VP, John Tyler was elected, he was the first American-born citizen to be inaugurated as president. Yes, that means that James K. Polk was the first American citizen to be elected president. If you win at trivia thanks to me, give my podcast a shoutout, and let me know, hey?
Think about it! 13 states became part of the United States during Poe’s lifetime! That’s not a casual hey-how-you-doing, now-you-belong-to-the-neighborhood-watch-committee thing. Edgar went to bed 13 times to awaken to newsies shouting about an entirely new state moving in next door. Make friends, because Arkansas just moved in and is never leaving. Enjoy your coffee; we’re 25 states now, not 24, don’t get it twisted. Welcome to the future.
links in this section are to tags for these events and years at thedollop.net; if some of them don’t have any articles attached, they will eventually, believe you me